Orpheum (Vancouver)

Last updated

The Orpheum Theatre
Orpheum Theatre Vancouver View Of Stage.jpg
Interior of the theatre
Orpheum (Vancouver)
Former namesNew Orpheum
Location601 Smithe Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
V6B 3L4
OwnerThe City of Vancouver (formerly owned by Famous Players)
TypeMusic venue (former movie palace)
Capacity 2,672
Construction
OpenedNovember 8, 1927
ClosedNovember 23, 1975 and
ReopenedApril 2, 1977
Official nameOrpheum Theatre National Historic Site of Canada
Designated1979

The Orpheum is a theatre and music venue in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Along with the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Vancouver Playhouse, and the Annex, it is part of the Vancouver Civic Theatres group of live performance venues. It is the permanent home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The Orpheum is located on Granville Street near Smithe Street in Vancouver's downtown core. The interior of the theatre was featured prominently in the award-winning 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica , where it is dressed to portray a heavenly opera house.

Contents

History

The Orpheum Theatre with advertising for the movie Lady Luck, circa 1946. Orpheum exterior 1946.jpg
The Orpheum Theatre with advertising for the movie Lady Luck , circa 1946.

Designed by Scottish architect Marcus Priteca, [1] the theatre officially opened on November 8, 1927 as a vaudeville house, but it hosted its first shows the previous day. [2] [3] [4] The old Orpheum, at 761 Granville Street, was renamed the Vancouver Theatre (later the Lyric, then the International Cinema, then the Lyric once more before it closed for demolition in 1969 to make way for the first phase of the Pacific Centre project). [5] The New Orpheum, which was the biggest theatre in Canada when it opened in 1927, with three thousand seats, [4] cost $1.25 million to construct. [6] [7] The first manager of the theatre was William A. Barnes. [4]

Following the end of vaudeville's heyday in the early 1930s, the Orpheum became primarily a movie house under Famous Players ownership, although it would continue to host live events on occasion. Ivan Ackery managed the Orpheum during most of this period, from 1935 [8] up until his 1969 retirement. [9]

In 1973, for economic reasons, Famous Players decided to gut the inside of the Orpheum and change it into a multiplex. [10] A "Save the Orpheum" public protest and fundraising campaign was launched, which even Jack Benny flew in to help with, [6] [10] and the Orpheum was saved. [11] On March 19, 1974, [3] the City of Vancouver bought the theatre for $7.1 million, with $3.1 million coming from the city itself, and $1.5 million from each of the provincial and federal governments. [6] [7] The Orpheum closed on November 23, 1975 and a renovation and restoration was done by the architectural company Thomson, Berwick, Pratt and Partners. [7] [12] It re-opened on April 2, 1977 and has since been the permanent home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. [3] [13] Tony Heinsbergen, a U.S. designer who originally chose the color scheme for the interior (ivory, moss green, gold and burgundy) was brought back, fifty years later, for the renovation. [14] In 1983, an additional entrance was opened on Smithe Street. [7]

The Orpheum's present neon sign was installed in the 1970s. Orpheum Vancouver - Neon Sign at night 01.jpg
The Orpheum's present neon sign was installed in the 1970s.

The theatre was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979. [15] The Orpheum's present neon sign was installed during the 1970s, donated by to the theatre by Jim Pattison. [16] The theatre and its neon sign have been used as a key location in several episodes of the science-fiction series Battlestar Galactica and Fringe , as well as Highlander: The Series . It was also the location of the filming of the Dan Mangan documentary What Happens Next? by Brent Hodge.

In 2006, the Capitol Residences development was proposed for the old Capitol 6 cinema site adjacent to the Orpheum. The City of Vancouver gave the developer permission for extra height and density on their site in return for a major expansion to the Orpheum, including a long desired back stage area. This was the largest amenities trade in the history of the city, and will increase the usability of the facility. [17]

See also

Notes

  1. The History of Metropolitan Vancouver: B. Marcus Priteca Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  2. The Orpheum Theatre:‘The Grand Old Lady of Granville Street’ Retrieved on 2017-11-08.
  3. 1 2 3 Welcome to the Orpheum Archived 2008-08-02 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  4. 1 2 3 The History of Metropolitan Vancouver:1927 Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  5. Four Orpheums Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  6. 1 2 3 The Vancouver Board of Trade Sounding Board (January-February 1998) Retrieved on 2008-06-04.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Orpheum facts Archived 2009-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2008-06-07.
  8. The History of Metropolitan Vancouver: Ivan Ackery (Part II) Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  9. The History of Metropolitan Vancouver: Ivan Ackery (Part III) Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  10. 1 2 The Puget Sound Pipeline Online: The Capitol. Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  11. Laing, Richard (2013). "How to save a theatre: the Orpheum, Vancouver". Structural Survey. 31 (5): 355–367. doi:10.1108/SS-01-2013-0010. hdl: 10059/922 via RGU Openair (repository).
  12. Orpheum Theatre The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2008-06-07.
  13. Cinema Treasures: Orpheum Theatre Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  14. The History of Metropolitan Vancouver:Tony Heinsbergen Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  15. Orpheum Theatre . Canadian Register of Historic Places . Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  16. Mackie, John. "Neon glow on Granville sign of past, future", June 21, 2002 Vancouver Sun
  17. Capitol Residences, Vancouver / Emporis.com [ dead link ]

Coordinates: 49°16′48″N123°07′13″W / 49.280096°N 123.120196°W / 49.280096; -123.120196

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warner Grand Theatre</span>

The Warner Grand Theatre is a historic movie palace that opened on January 20, 1931. It is located in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, at 478 West 6th Street.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alessandro Juliani</span> Canadian actor and singer (born 1975)

Alessandro Juliani is a Canadian actor and singer. He is notable for playing the roles of Tactical Officer Lieutenant Felix Gaeta on the Sci-Fi Channel television program Battlestar Galactica, Emil Hamilton in Smallville, Jacapo Sinclair on The CW series The 100, and Dr. Cerberus on the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. He is also known for voicing the character L in the English version of the anime series Death Note and its live action films, as well as several other animation projects. Juliani provided the voice of Aaron Fox on Nexo Knights.

Matthew Ray Bennett is a Canadian actor, writer and director. He is best known for portraying Detective Len Harper on Cold Squad and his recurring roles as Aaron Doral cylon model number five in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and Daniel Rosen in Orphan Black.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Granville Street</span> Street in Vancouver, British Columbia

Granville Street is a major street in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and part of Highway 99. Granville Street is most often associated with the Granville Entertainment District and the Granville Mall. This street also cuts through residential neighbourhoods like Shaughnessy and Marpole via the Granville Street Bridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alexander Pantages</span> Greek American impresario and vaudeville/film producer

Alexander Pantages was a Greek American vaudeville impresario and early motion picture producer. He created a large and powerful circuit of theatres across the western United States and Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">B. Marcus Priteca</span>

Benjamin Marcus Priteca was a Scottish architect. He is best known for designing theatres for Alexander Pantages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Granville Mall, Vancouver</span> Place in Downtown Vancouver

The Granville Mall is a transit mall and pedestrian zone in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It comprises the section of Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver between Hastings and Smithe streets. Most routes that service the mall are primarily trolleybuses operated by TransLink; in addition to bus service, the Granville Mall can be accessed by SkyTrain from either Granville and Vancouver City Centre stations of the Expo and Canada lines, respectively.

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of Canada's largest cities and foremost cultural centres.

<i>Caprica</i> 2010 science fiction TV-series

Caprica is an American science fiction drama television series. A spin-off prequel of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (2004), Caprica is set 58 years before the main series. Caprica shows how humanity first created the Cylon androids who would later turn against their human masters. Among Caprica's main characters are the father and uncle of William Adama, the man who becomes the senior surviving military leader of the fleet which represents the remnants of the Twelve Colonies in Battlestar Galactica.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Imperial Theatre, Saint John</span>

The Imperial Theatre, in Saint John, New Brunswick, was designed by Philadelphia architect Albert Westover and built in 1912 by the Imperial Theatre by the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation vaudeville chain of New York City and their Canadian subsidiary, the Saint John Amusements Company Ltd. It opened to the public on September 19, 1913.

Ivan Ackery was a movie theatre manager and entertainment promoter in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was the manager of Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre during its peak period from the 1930s to the 1960s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Capitol Theatre (Yakima, Washington)</span>

The Capitol Theatre is a performing arts venue in Yakima, Washington. With its location in downtown Yakima and 1,500 seating capacity, it serves as the primary performing arts facility for the Yakima region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Atmospheric theatre</span> Type of movie theater

An atmospheric theatre is a type of movie palace design which was popular in the late 1920s. Atmospheric theatres were designed and decorated to evoke the feeling of a particular time and place for patrons, through the use of projectors, architectural elements and ornamentation that evoked a sense of being outdoors. This was intended to make the patron a more active participant in the setting.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Granville Entertainment District</span> Neighbourhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Granville Entertainment District is a neighbourhood in Downtown Vancouver known for its vast assortment of bars, danceclubs, restaurants, nightlife, and urban adult oriented shops and entertainment. The entertainment district centred on a seven-block stretch of the Granville Mall and surrounding streets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage</span> Theatre Vancouver, Canada

The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage is a landmark theatre at 12th Avenue and Granville Street in Vancouver, British Columbia which serves as the main stage for the Arts Club Theatre Company. The Stanley first opened as a movie theatre in December 1930, and showed movies for over sixty years before falling revenues led to its closure in 1991. After years of threatened commercial redevelopment, the Stanley was renovated as a stage theatre in 1997–1998 and subsequently awarded status as a heritage building.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Orpheum Theatre (Los Angeles)</span> Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US

The Orpheum Theatre at 842 S. Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles opened on February 15, 1926, as the fourth and final Los Angeles venue for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit. After a $3 million renovation, started in 1989, it is the most restored of the historical movie palaces in the city. Three previous theatres also bore the name Orpheum before the one at 842 Broadway was the final one with that moniker.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chan Centre for the Performing Arts</span>

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is situated within the natural landscape of the campus and is surrounded by evergreens and rhododendrons. This state of the art performing arts venue holds the 1,200-seat Chan Shun Concert Hall, the flexible-seating Telus Studio Theatre, the 160-seat Royal Bank Cinema, the Great Performers Lounge, and a glass lobby. Completed in 1997, the Chan Centre hosts classes, rehearsals and performances for a variety of the UBC departments of music, film and theatre as well as a diverse, yearly performing arts season that attracts audiences from all over the Lower Mainland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Broadway Theater District (Los Angeles)</span> United States historic place

The Broadway Theater District in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles is the first and largest historic theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). With twelve movie palaces located along a six-block stretch of Broadway, it is the only large concentration of movie palaces left in the United States. The same six-block stretch of Broadway, and an adjacent section of Seventh Street, was also the city's retail hub for the first half of the twentieth century, lined with large and small department stores and specialty stores.

The Utah Theatre was a historic theater in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States. It opened in 1918 as the Pantages Theater, after the name of its owner, Alexander Pantages. The theatre was located at 148 South Main Street, Salt Lake City.

Vincent Gale is a Scottish-born Canadian film and television actor, who won the Genie Award for Best Supporting Actor at the 2002 Genie Awards for his performance in the film Last Wedding.